Read advance reader review of Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey, page 3 of 3

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Letters to the Lost

by Iona Grey

Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey X
Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • First Published:
    May 2015, 384 pages

    May 2016, 384 pages


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There are currently 21 member reviews
for Letters to the Lost
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  • De C. (Durham, NC)
    Not quite as predictable as I thought!
    At first glance, "Letters to the Lost" might seem like a familiar story: WW II lovers parted by life and oceans and bound to spend their lifetimes looking for each other, reminiscing about their lost opportunities.

    However, Iona Grey uses her long lost lovers to inform the background of their various roles and gives great insight into the expectations and social mores of England in World War II. Grey's American soldier and young, naive British wife are at times quite unpredictable. The British vicar, his best friend and his congregation are at first presented in a bucolic and serene manner.

    Throughout the book, "Letters to the Lost" has numerous surprises: unexpected actions of the characters, decisions that defy present day logic, themes of violence in war and at home, unlikely liaisons. Although the themes are romantic, the pathways are not always obvious.
  • Susan P. (Boston, MA)
    Letters to the Lost
    A parallel tale about a young woman in England during WWII who falls in love with an American soldier, even though she is married to a vicar who does not love her. In present-day London, a young woman singer has run away from her cruel boyfriend and finds (in an unused house she's broken into for a place to stay) letters from the soldier, including his most recent one. The story is laconic at first, but picks up and becomes intriguing, heart-breaking, and joyful. Supporting characters are pitch perfect. Depiction of civilian life during WWII is very good as are reminders of how constrained a woman's life used to be. Not entirely sure about the title; not sure who is "lost" although we know what was lost. Very enjoyable.
  • Betty B. (Irving, TX)
    Love in WWII England
    Letters to the Lost (I don't particularly like this title) tells the story of two people who fall deeply in love in England during the Second World War, and of a young woman who in 2011 discovers their letters and decides to reunite them. With the English setting, a mystery as to what happened to one of the main characters, and settings during WWII and contemporary London, the story kept me returning to the book. It would have been a 5 star read for me if there had been a little more editing to keep the action moving. However, for the most part the characters are very likeable and believable,and the story well written. I think my Book Club would enjoy discussing this book.
  • Eve A. (Henderson, NV)
    Letters to the Lost
    This is a love story about two people separated by World War II - an English woman and an American soldier. The back and forth between the past and the present was interesting but I feel as if I have read this basic plot in many different forms before. I thought it was too long and slow going in some parts. I did finish the book as I was curious to see how it would all work out in the end but I think I would have liked it more if it was a little bit shorter.
  • Joy Z. (El Paso, TX)
    Review of Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey
    I enjoyed the story and I enjoyed learning how the roles of women have changed and not changed since World War II. I found the characters fascinating. I thought the story was a bit dull. While the writing was good, there were some storylines that were not pulled together. I also found the first 100 pages very slow.
  • Dorothy C. (Bismarck, ND)
    Letters to the Lost
    I rated this book as average, because it was just an OK book. It did have a good beginning and a good ending, but in between was not so good. I have read over 200 books, both historical fiction and history on World War II.
  • Barb (Mount Joy, PA)
    Quest for love
    How did events during WWII in London relate to what's happening to 2 people in London in 2011? The author uses time shifting to tell 2 stories that are ultimately related. She handled the shifts in stories well. At times the prose was not as tight as it could have been. There also were some events that were needed to tie the stories together but seemed contrived. The ending was a bit too pat for my liking.

    Overall, a good summer read and has potential for book club discussions about choices made and the quests for love in both times..
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